Finding Creativity – Part I

When I decided to go back to university and become a teacher (about one year ago), I was certain to be doing the right thing. The world of the little ones fascinates me. These little human beings are actually much bigger than we adults are, in so many ways. However, I was scared of losing other things I’ve been working on for so long and with so much passion. Taste of Portugal is my very personal project. It started as a blog about my travels through my first home country. I wrote freely from my soul and was able to be creative in my writing, in taking pictures and putting it all together for you. After one year or so, Taste of Portugal became to be read all over the world and pressure started to grow. I felt like having to be the first one in everything, scrolled hours through Instagram to get the best spot first. And I tried to build up an online shop with selected Portuguese Handcraft. This all happened while I was working in Communication. About 18 months ago I found myself emotionally in a very bad place. It felt like I lost all my creativity, all my freedom in what I do. I never showed it because I am a positive person and I hate having dark clouds over my head. I decided to quit my job. It sounds easier than it was. I had no plans, no income coming in for an uncertain period of time. My husband stood by me and said: do it, we’ll figure it out later!

First, I thought of dedicating myself fully to Taste of Portugal. But then two questions came up: Do I want to make a living out of Taste of Portugal? And if so, what will be the sacrifice? Taste of Portugal started so easily and light. It was my source of creativity and freedom. I lost that when I started to try making money out of it. I wanted to get that initial feelings related to this personal project and decided to keep writing about what fascinates me and stopped selling handcraft.

It was the right decision but the last year was not an easy one and for sure not the most creative one. I had to balance a new job in communication (a bit of income was needed), my studies, Taste of Portugal and the grown-up life of a mid-thirty. I was in constant delivery mode and truly missed being creative. I specially missed discovering Portugal. I needed some creative input, some inspirational words. So, I asked three people which I think are amazingly creative for a chat. This was in March. Corona hit us right after I talked with them and all the amazing and motivational words waited until today in my notebook to be put online. The first two people I talked to were Ana and Jorge.

Ana and Jorge – creativity as a family affair

I met Ana at the Toino Abel workshop back in March 2019 (about the time I decided to become a Teacher). I already followed her on Instagram and was fascinated about her work for Observador Lifestyle. Her life partner, Jorge, loves photography and works as a professor at the university. I thought that this combination was very interesting too. Ana and Jorge love to discover Portugal with their son Miguel. Their adventures are beautifully shown on their Instagram accounts and some are also featured in the magazine Observador Lifestyle.

Ana grew up in Lisboa and studied Journalism. She loves to go on discovery journeys with her family. The most creative part of her job, also the one thing she loves the most, is to meet people and their projects, their businesses their passions. It’s to experience something that inspires her to write about it. Ana is the happiest outside exploring. The work at the office is needed, sure, but it is definitely not her favorite. Her life partner Jorge beautifully described her work as “paintings made out of words”. While he knows how to capture a moment or an object with his camera, Ana knows how to perfectly paint it with her words.

There was a time when Ana also felt uninspired and creativity was missing. She was mainly publishing online articles back then. Her work felt like fast food for the brain. She had to produce fast and as soon as she clicked publish, it already felt like old news. She missed having time to explore. Ana even though of changing her professional path and to go more into design, because she loves that too. But then a challenging and amazing opportunity raised. Ana became the chief editor of Observador Lifestyle a printed magazine by Observador, an online magazine. Her new job became her own baby while she was pregnant with her first child. In November 2017 she became the mother of two children: Miguel was born just one week after the first issue of Observador Lifestyle came out.

Jorge grew up in Porto and came to Lisboa to study. You can feel that he’s a very curious person. Interestingly, Jorge is a scientist and creative at the same time. This is a very rare thing. He really enjoys and needs both worlds. The combination of structured scientific methods (his work at university) and the organic self-taught way of exploring things (in photography) fascinate him. Society keeps telling you that you have either a creative or scientific mind. Basically, you have to choose on which team you want to play to be really good at one of those two. Jorge proves that both if possible and that if you feel like more than one passion is beating in your chest, you should go for it!

Ana and Jorge love to spend time with their son in nature, even if they both grew up in the city. They feel specially connected to the beach. When they became parents, their life changed emotionally and traveling and discovering Portugal became a bit more complicated or let’s say they had to organize it in a different way. Through Miguel’s eyes they started to observe and see things differently. Life suddenly became much more colourful. When Miguel wants to stop to look closely at a tree, a flower or an animal they realize how sometime as an adult we miss things by rushing from one place to another. Miguel is teaching them to live in a slower and more attentive way.

“Somehow a child limits your life but also increases it.”

– Jorge

Their home in Lisboa is tastefully and playfully decorated. Ana and Jorge also share a passion for Design and Illustrations.

Talking to Ana and Jorge made me realize that I still have a very vivid child in me, and that child needs to be nourished. I like to explore new things in my own way, I need to see the world with my own eyes and to disconnect from society now and then to feel reconnected with nature fully. Thank you, Ana and Jorge, for sharing with me your story and passions. Keep shining bright, you’re an inspiration to me and many others!

Follow their creative work on Instagram